Last year, I took my daughter to the county fair. While wandering through the vendor room, I was intrigued by a household gadget and stopped to take a look.
Now, it doesn’t matter which gadget this is. Just know that it’s something silly. Something nobody really needs, although it was kind of neat. Honestly, I might have been tempted to buy one if the lady hadn’t immediately gone into a hard pitch. I began to panic, because I suck at saying no. I was trying to back away, but she kept talking. Finally, maybe registering the sheer desperation on my face, she said, “We’re having a drawing. You might win one for free!”
Sure. Fine. Whatever. All I saw was a way to make my escape. Enter the drawing and move on. I gave them the number to my landline. After all, this is the entire reason I still have a landline — to divert solicitors away from my cell phone. And sure enough, two days later, the phone calls started.
I saw the name on the caller ID and chose not to answer. They didn’t leave a message. For more than a year now, they’ve been calling anywhere from one to five times per week. Now, a stronger person would simply answer and say they’re not interested. But that’s not me. I chose avoidance instead.
Then, the week before I left for London for the UK Meet, the phone rang, and my god damn (well-intentioned but oblivious) husband answered it. Not only that, but when they asked for me, he didn’t lie and say I wasn’t home. He handed me the phone.
It turns out I won the gadget. But of course, that’s not all. They need to come to our home to demonstrate it. It goes without saying that a sales pitch will be involved. I, being a total pushover, set up a date and time for them to come. I was dreading it. Then, the woman on the phone asked the question.
“Will your husband be home for the presentation?”
I fucking hate this question. When asked this question a couple of months ago by the carpet salesman, I calmly said, “No, and he doesn’t need to be. I’m perfectly capable of picking out carpet on my own.” He wisely dropped the matter. This time, I said, “No. My husband works weekdays.” Of course the response I got was, “We prefer that all decision-makers be present in the home.” Because, you see, my feeble female brain is incapable of making decisions about household gadgets. I need the opinion of my big, strong husband.
I wonder: if it had been my husband they were talking to, would they have asked if his little wifey-poo was going to be there to assist him?
Somehow, I doubt it.
But here’s the thing: whether I like to admit it or not, this time, their sexism worked to my advantage. Because you see, I am female, and like many of my gender, I was raised to avoid conflict at all costs, which means I’ll often cave in and make a purchase simply because it’s the fastest, most effective way of getting the annoying salesperson to leave. Then I spend a week hating myself for being a pushover. But not this time. Instead, I happily re-scheduled to a Saturday, when DH would be home. After all, he’s the one who answered the damn phone call in the first place. And he is most definitely not a pushover. Once they’ve “demonstrated” our “prize,” he won’t hesitate a second before telling them their time is up and that we’re not interested.
So, am I justified in being annoyed at the “decision maker” question? Or should I just be glad somebody else will be here to tell them, “Hell no!”?